Award for farm safety device at National Student Entrepeneur Awards
The students came up with the idea of a safety device which is installed in agricultural trailers, called the livestock trailer restrainer.

The project was a joint initiative between NUI Galway student Patrick Costello and GMIT student Brian Melia.

Both students were finalists in the 2016 Enterprise Ireland Student Entrepreneur Awards ceremony and received a merit award.

Opening the gates of a livestock trailer can be hazardous due to the fact the animals can place excessive force on the gates, with the risk of potential injury to the operator, the project explains.

The livestock trailer restrainer is essentially a gate with a release mechanism that can be operated from the side of the livestock trailer.

It puts a barrier between an operator and livestock to allow them to exit the boundaries of the danger zone, which is the ramp. The device can then be released from a safe zone to the side of the trailer, putting the operator out of the trample path of the livestock.

Comment

Commenting on the award, head of mechanical engineering in NUI Galway Professor Sean Leen said: “This successful design is an excellent example of the initiative of many Irish engineering students and originated as part of the Community Awareness Initiatives Responsibly Directed by Engineers (CAIRDE) second-year engineering group design projects at NUI Galway.

“We ask students to work directly with community partners to conceive, design, make and test prototype solutions to real-world problems. It is highly rewarding to see this type of initiative getting due recognition.”

Dangers of livestock

Speaking at a seminar in May this year, Teagasc geneticist Dr Noirin McHugh said that breeding is a valuable long-term tool to increase the docility of livestock.

Commenting on the rise in farm deaths caused by cow attacks, which have exceeded bull attacks in recent years, McHugh said that cow aggression around or after calving is a genetic trait that can also be reduced through breeding. She added that bovine maternal aggression has been viewed as a physiological condition, but this is not the case and has a genetic influence.

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Embrace FARM service remembers farm accident victims

The farmer's daily wrap: Castleblayney, chlorothalonil and Brexit
Here is your news round-up of the five top farming stories and weather outlook for 23 March 2019.

Weather forecast

Saturday is forecast to be generally dry and bright, with good spells of sunshine through the day and just a few showers across Ulster.

Met Éireann has said that it will be a fairly cool day though, with highs of 7 to 9 degrees in light to moderate westerly breezes.

In the news

  • Farmers left unpaid by the liquidation of EP Nugent Ltd, the company operating Castleblayney Mart, have decided to take legal action.
  • The discontinuation of chlorothalonil is a hammer blow to Irish tillage farmers, Irish Grain Growers Group chair Bobby Miller has said.
  • There would be a 9.2% fall in primary and manufacturing employment in Monaghan if WTO tariffs were applied in a no-deal Brexit scenario.
  • There is a mixed bag of weather for the weekend ahead, but it will be mostly cool and dry on Saturday and Sunday.
  • Independent TD Denis Naughten has said that it is time for action on beef grading machines in meat factories.
  • Coming up this Saturday

  • Balla Mart report.
  • Good week/bad week.
  • Stories from the 2018 Irish Farmers Journal Agricultural Land Price Report.
    Pig prices are below the cost of production – IFA pig chair
    IFA pig chair Tom Hogan has said that price increases from the pig factories are not coming quick enough.

    The pig price is around €1.40c/kg to €1.46c/kg since it increased two weeks ago, but for most pig farmers, the increase in price is not coming quick enough, IFA pig chair Tom Hogan has said.

    He told the Irish Farmers Journal on Friday evening that the current prices are below the cost of production.

    “With feed costs at the moment, we would want to be getting €1.60c/kg. Feed costs haven’t come down as they usually do. The compounders should be pulling back on price.

    Another price rise

    “We got a price rise two weeks ago and the indications are that we could get another price wise, maybe as early as next week.

    “There is a positive outlook going forward, but for most people these increases are not coming quick enough,” he said.

    The IFA has said that there has been a slight decrease in the weekly pig kill and increased demand, which is helping to put more competition into the market place.

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    Watch: new Agri Aware campaign to air in cinemas and on TV
    The ‘Many Hats, One CAP’ advert is set to air on television and in cinemas in the coming weeks, with the campaign highlighting how important investment in agriculture is to the wider Irish economy.

    This week, Agri Aware launched its new 'Many Hats, One CAP' TV and cinema advert.

    Produced by Traction Marketing, the advert is part of a wider campaign which aims to promote and showcase how the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) affects everyday life in Ireland, whether that is subsidies paid to a farmer directly or the countless indirect knock-ons that keep rural Ireland alive.

    The launch took place at Movies Dundrum, Dublin, on Thursday evening, where both the full and short versions of the advert where premiered for the first time on screen.

    Rural landscape

    The ad itself follows a day in the life of a number of characters who make up the rural landscape in Ireland.

    From clips of rural entrepreneur and chef Edward Hayden cooking up a storm in his Graiguenamanagh cookery school, to farmer Kevin Moran up before dawn in Galway to milk his dairy herd, it gives viewers a glimpse into the role the agri-food industry plays.

    Agriculture is a huge economic multiplier, which keeps rural Ireland alive

    At the premiere, there was a panel of guest speakers which included Agri Aware chair Alan Jagoe and three of the stars in the ad; Hayden, Moran and Teagasc researcher Dr Dayle Johnston.

    Hosted by Marty Morrissey, the panel reiterated the point that agriculture is a huge economic multiplier, which keeps rural Ireland alive, and the CAP is central to that.

    Alan Jagoe spoke of the huge work, time and spend going behind the campaign.

    “It costs money to put it out there, but consumers and society need to know where their money is going and who they are supporting.

    "There needs to be an understanding and respect for the production costs and efforts that go into food production,” he stressed.

    2016 FBD young farmer of the year Kevin Moran made the point that CAP itself “is not just one thing – a subsidy for a farmer - it is much more than that; it’s an investment in food security, an investment in rural economies and this investment is invaluable to rural Ireland”.

    'Many Hats, One CAP' is a 12-month public information campaign that will go live across TV, radio, cinema, social media and print over the coming weeks.

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    Agri Aware, the CAP and Micheál

    'Farmers must tell their story' – new Agri Aware chair